Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Dietitian's Cancer Story Newsletter: Spring/Summer 2007

Greetings from Diana Dyer, MS, RD, Author of A Dietitian's Cancer Story
After much soul-searching, I have made the decision to have this short edition of my newsletter be the final one, at least for the foreseeable future. In addition, I have made the commitment to myself to take a much needed break from the extensive traveling, speaking, and presentation preparation I have done for the past 10+ years educating the oncology community about the multiple benefits of including proactive and individualized nutritional care as a component of true comprehensive cancer care.
My decision was both difficult and easy. Difficult because I am passionate about what I have been doing. I love meeting people who are eager to learn this information, and I love learning how people in different areas of the country (health care practitioners and cancer survivors alike) are also making a difference by implementing innovative programs or services that are improving cancer care. Indeed, I meet inspirational people and make new friends everywhere I travel, and I will miss that!
However, the decision was also easy. My heart finally told me it is time to assess the progress that has been made since that day in 1995 when I asked my oncologist what I could do to help myself now that my cancer treatments were completed (his answer was a prolonged silence...). The cancer survivorship movement was small in 1995, but now it is a nationally visible movement commanding attention and respect both in Washington, DC and large oncology meetings. In fact, cancer centers that are not actively figuring out what programs and services they need to provide in order to help cancer patients live an optimal life medically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually both during and after cancer are “behind the times.”
More and more cancer centers (large and small) now have a Registered Dietitian (RD) on staff to help patients with their nutritional intake during and after cancer therapy in order to optimize response to treatments, minimize side effects, improve overall health, wellness, quality of life, and reduce the risk of recurrence. I actually know of one major cancer center where grass roots (i.e., patient) efforts led to both hiring their first RD and also increasing the number of hours she was available to see patients.
Registered Dietitians who work primarily with cancer patients will soon have the opportunity to become Certified Specialists in Oncology (CSO), similar to certification obtained by the many dedicated physicians, nurses, and social workers specializing in oncology. It has been meaningful to be a member of the national committees that have worked on the multiple steps leading to the approval and development of this certification (The American Dietetic Association’s Oncology Nutrition Dietetics Practice Group).

In addition, it has been meaningful and heart-warming to recently learn of the large number of cancer centers already offering or planning nutrition programs for cancer survivors. Again, cancer centers that have not yet hired a Registered Dietitian (or expanded the hours of the RD(s) already on staff) are at risk of being “behind the times”.

My past 10+ years advocating for an expanded practice of cancer care by including nutrition have been both challenging and enjoyable. In some ways I have felt like a national version of our Midwestern Johnny Appleseed, planting seeds of information, amending the soil with a small amount of inspiration, while hoping that my path will touch others who will then tend and nurture the ideas into caring services for current and future cancer patients. I sincerely thank all of you who have been nurturing one of the seeds I planted during this past decade plus those of you who may be doing so in the future.
Rest assured that I am fortunate to still be cancer-free at this point. In addition, I am not “going away”, just taking an open-ended break to enjoy other areas of my life. My web site will still be available; I’ll only update the many FAQ’s if new research substantially changes my current answers . I am not accepting any additional speaking engagements for the remainder of 2007 and 2008, but I will consider inquiries for events scheduled in 2009. My books will continue to be available although I will be transitioning (i.e., simplifying) so that AICR will be the primary source with ordering still possible through and Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor, Michigan ( for autographed copies), but not other bookstores.
In addition, I have started a blog at where I will post information and thoughts about what I am reading and doing (I am currently reading the books Plenty by Alisa Smith and JB Mackinnon plus Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by my favorite author, Barbara Kingsolver). I invite you to stop in to visit my blog once in a while and offer comments (please note: while I will enjoy reading all comments, I will not be responding to individual inquiries or questions). I make no promises about how often I will post, but I envision it to be a more frequent way of sharing my thoughts than I have been able to do with my newsletter. I expect my posts will be more of “snippets” than extensive essays or professionally referenced articles.
My husband and I were recently watching some old Mary Tyler Moore Show re-runs and wondered whatever happened to Valerie Harper who played Rhoda. Well, a recent issue of the AARP Magazine has a little blurb about Valerie’s latest activities. Among other activities, she has channeled much time and effort to The Hunger Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating hunger, in part by empowering women. I want to share Valerie’s comments about her efforts with this important organization.
“Activism springs from optimism. I believe I make
a difference. I think we all do.
I’m no special person.
And you know what? When you take action,
you meet fabulous people!”
(AARP – The Magazine, Jan/Feb 2007)
Oh, wow…. Her words brought tears to my eyes the first time I read them and still do today while I am writing this. I also am no special person. I hope I have made a difference for other cancer patients during this past decade (and those still to come) by finding the courage to speak up about the need for change, being optimistic that change would happen, identifying barriers (real or perceived), and then helping to change both attitudes and systems so that the day will arrive when true comprehensive cancer care will include proactive nutritional care that is individualized by Registered Dietitians, Certified Specialist in Oncology, for each and every patient who hears those chilling words, “I’m sorry to tell you that you have cancer”. I am optimistic that the day is near, very near. <Smile>
Like Valerie Harper, I have also met fabulous people with my activism for you (either in person or in spirit), and I continue to send all of you my very best wishes for health, healing, and hope!
Diana Dyer, MS, RD
Book Ordering Information
Both A Dietitian's Cancer Story and the Spanish edition Historia De Cáncer De Una Dietista can be ordered from, and directly from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) by calling 1-800-843-8114 or going to AICR's web site.
Discounts for orders of 10 or more copies are available for both editions by calling AICR at 1-800-843-8114 - asking to speak to Candis Navarrete. Many cancer centers, health care professional offices, and places of worship have ordered books in larger quantities to have available to give as educational and support information or to resell.
In addition, personally autographed copies of A Dietitian's Cancer Story are now readily available through Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It's easy to order the book directly from this full service independent bookstore at their web site, , which has a space to indicate how you would like the book inscribed. They will happily mail the book anywhere in the world and have already sent copies with personalized autographs as far away as Australia and England.
Diana Grant Dyer, MS, RD - Author
A Dietitian's Cancer Story (English and Spanish translation)
Website and blog:


Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Dietitian's Cancer Story Newsletter: Winter 2007

Winter 2007 Greetings from Diana Dyer, MS, RD, author of A Dietitian's Cancer Story
Welcome to 2007! I like to think about the way that Ellen Goodman (columnist at The Boston Globe) describes her approach to the New Year:
“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room,
drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.
Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the
rooms of our lives.…not looking for flaws, but for potential.”

~ Ellen Goodman
I like this way of thinking because developing potential, instead of patching cracks, is positive, moving forward, and makes me feel more alive. In fact, I encourage all of you to look in the rooms of your life to find something you can do that makes you “come alive” in 2007. I am going to continue speaking, selling my book, writing this newsletter, and raising money for my cancer and nutrition survivorship research fund at AICR. However, the new thing I plan to do this year is plant a garden focused on heirloom varieties of dried beans and greens, such as the sweet and tender Russian kale that I first found at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home in Charlottesville, VA.
I recently read the following quotation while thoughtfully thinking about the rooms of my life, and I was struck by its similarity to the Quaker expression that I highlighted in my newsletter last January, “Let your life speak.”
Don’t ask so much what the world needs.
Go out and do what makes you come alive, because
what the worlds needs most are people who have come alive.

~ Howard Thurman, Theologian, Author, Activist, 1900-1981

You may see me speaking around the country this year, but who knows, at some point in the future you may see me selling dried beans and fresh greens and sharing ultra-healthy recipes at my Farmers’ Market while simultaneously helping to nurture the health of our planet plus old and new friends.
I send all my best wishes for 2007, that all of you find a room in your life in which you “come alive” as a part of your cancer journey!
Diana Dyer, MS, RD
Newsletter Contents:
I. Endowment Update
II. New Books to Suggest
III. Web Sites
IV. Research Updates
V. Web sites stats (just for fun)
VI. Book Ordering Information

I. Endowment Update
I share my heartfelt appreciation to all of you who helped to increase the amount of my research fund ( at The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). Many of you made direct donations or bought additional books to share where you felt the messages and support were needed. I invite you to also consider initiating a local fund-raising event such as a golf outing, a walk, etc, etc. AICR is happy to help guide you through the steps for such an event. Feel free to call Heather Morgan, Director of Development for AICR, at 1-800-843-8114.
There is also an additional way that you can help me donate more money to AICR.
Whenever you shop at, please participate in a free and easy service that has set up for web site owners, like me. Here is how it works. If you always go through my web site's page of books to get to every time you wish to place an order for anything from Amazon, a small percentage (4-6%) of the total cost of your order is paid back to me as a "referral fee". That amount of money helps to pay my web site's expenses, thus I end up with more money to donate to AICR at the end of the year. Example: You wish to order some CDs from First go to my web site, click on Books, click on Suggested Books, click on the link for my book or any book listed, after reaching that book on, then search for what you wish to order on's web site. That's it. You don't need to do anything special when you pay Amazon, nor does it cost you anything extra. No matter what you order (electronics, food, books, CDs, third party items, even a lawnmower!), a small percentage of the amount you pay Amazon comes back to me as a "referral fee" when you go through my web site first. "Many drops make a bucket"; in other words, it all adds up! Thank you for remembering to go through those easy steps when you order from
Several people wrote asking me for more information about the research studies my endowment has already helped to fund through AICR. A list of those studies is on my web site: Shortly I will receive information to review so that I may choose which research study I will help AICR to fund in 2007. Knowing that I am a part of the “big picture” by helping to fund and also raise awareness of the importance of research focused on nutrition strategies for cancer survivors makes me “come alive”!
II. New Books to Suggest
A. Food for Thought: Healing Foods to Savor, by Sheila Kealey, Vicky Newman, and Susan Faerber, University of California, San Diego Medical Center, Moores Cancer Center, 2006. Cost is $20.00 plus S/H.
An eagerly awaited cookbook filled with the delicious healthy recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition information developed by the WHEL staff and used by the participants in the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living Study that is evaluating the effect of diet on breast cancer recurrence (results coming soon!). I have tried several recipes already, anticipate enjoying all that are included in this book, and thank the WHEL staff for sharing these ultra-healthy recipes with all of us!
All proceeds from the sale of this book go to the Cancer Prevention and Control Program of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center at the University of California-San Diego. The website has sample pages, a list of recipes, and ordering information.
I don't often "digress" from my focus on nutrition and cancer, but I have enjoyed reading the following three books.
B. The Dog Diet: A Memoir – What my dog taught me about shedding pounds, licking stress, and getting a new leash on life, by Patti Lawson, HCI, Deerfield Beach, FL, 2006.
Disclosure/confession: I am a new, late-in-life "doggie person", so I my reaction to this book may be biased!
I LOVE this book. I had to read parts of it out loud to my husband so he could enjoy it, too. Read it for fun, read it for inspiration, plus read it for sound nutritional and lifestyle advice. (I eat more of a vegetarian diet than this author, but her general advice is solid.)

Our vet recently told me to cut down on the amount of dog food I was giving my grand-dog (I was following the directions on the bag; she tells me those are overstated to sell more dog food!) and to start feeding Kaya vegetables if she was acting hungry. I don’t know if I would have the courage to do that without already having read this book. So, I am having fun exploring what vegetables Kaya will eat. So far ALL of them – the only thing she has rejected out of hand/paw was adding just a touch of pomegranate juice to her water! The goal is for her to slowly lose 5 # to keep her middle-aged joints flexible so she can continue to chase squirrels, Frisbees, and generally make us laugh as she “tears about the house”.

Caution - you just might find yourself wanting a dog (or another) if you like this book as much as I did!
C. Water with Lemon: An inspiring story of diet-free, guilt-free weight loss! by Zonya Foco, RD and Stephen Moss, ZHI Publishing, Onsted, MI, 2006. This book provides an innovative way to introduce (and reinforce) nutrition information, lifestyle habits, and inspiration to those people struggling to finally achieve a healthy weight through a healthy lifestyle, not another fad diet. The first book in a new genre of “health novels” is easy to read but thought provoking as eight habits for achieving a healthy weight are woven into the story. More information is at
D. Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-quoting Butcher in Tuscany, by Bill Buford, Knopf, New York, 2006. Highly recommended by a good friend, my husband read this first. After my turn at reading Heat, I now realize that all my nutrition training would not prepare me one bit for working in a restaurant kitchen!! And I am not sure that I would want to – I know I could not keep up with the fast pace needed by hands and brain during a rush. I can also see that my vegetarian leanings started a long time ago, as I can now remember that I just could not (would not?) memorize the cuts of meat, recommended preparations for the different cuts, etc, etc, in one of my food classes. Another enjoyable digression from my usual focus on trying to stay caught up with my professional nutrition and cancer reading.
III. Web sites to suggest
A. Vegetarian Resource Group – – still the best place on the web to find reliable information about vegetarian nutrition, particularly questions regarding a vegan diet. Terrific recipes.
B. - online cancer advocacy training program available from the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS). The goal is to teach those affected by cancer to effectively speak up for better health care. This training program gives guidance on how to communicate with federal legislators and other policy makes on issues important to cancer survivors.
C. – The Cornucopia Institute is dedicated to the fight for economic justice for the family-scale farming community. Through research, advocacy, and economic development their goal is to empower farmers both politically and through marketplace initiatives. The Organic Integrity Project acts as a corporate watchdog assuring that no compromises to the credibility of organic farming methods and the food it produces are made in the pursuit of profit.
One controversy: The fact that organic milk is produced both by family farms that allow the cows to graze outdoors in pastures, and by "factory farms" that confine cows, give them feed rather than allowing them to graze, and milk them several times a day. "Confined milk production is a quicker, easier way to produce," said Will Fantle, research director of the Cornucopia Institute. But Fantle and other organic advocates frown on the process and the end product.

To help consumers, the Cornucopia Institute has posted a scorecard on its Web site, giving dairy producers a "one-to-five-cow" rating, five being best. The scorecard is the result of a one-year research project in which the research team rated 68 organic dairy producers and private-label products. The Institute presented their report in April to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Standards Board.

D. – Wendy Harpham, MD is a doctor of internal medicine and 16-year cancer survivor who has helped thousands of fellow survivors by sharing her words of wisdom in many published books such as After Cancer: A Guide to Your New Life (1994) and Happiness in a Storm: Facing Illness and Embracing Life as a Healthy Survivor (2005). In addition, she has a regular column in the publication, Oncology Times, in which she shares her thoughts and experiences from the dual perspective of physician and cancer survivor. I look forward to reading each column and often share them with my own primary care physician who, in turn, shares them with the residents in the Internal Medicine/Pediatric Residency Program that he directs at the University of Michigan. Now everyone can read these columns by visiting Dr. Harpham’s web site and clicking on the publications tab (scroll down and you will find a section of Oncology Times articles with links to each article). These essays often bring tears to my eyes as I first relate to her perspective as a cancer survivor and also as I think about all the oncology health care professionals these columns can help to more completely understand and therefore care for both future patients and us.
E. - a terrific web site and terrific group of products. If you can’t purchase fresh greens from a local farmer, these pre-cut and packages greens are a close substitute as they are harvested and shipped daily to grocery stores around the country. Use this web site to view some recipes and try a variety you haven’t eaten before. Power-packed with nutrition and cancer-fighting molecules. (Even my grand-dog now eats kale with enthusiasm!)
F. Other cancer and nutrition Email newsletters available:
(1) Cancer Nutrition Newsletter from The Cancer Nutrition Network for Texans – monthly, free, archived on the web back to March 2004

(2) AICR – monthly, free sign up at, link on homepage
G. New newsletters dedicated to optimizing cancer survivorship (both include columns by Registered Dietitians) – I hope these inspire you to suggest or even develop one at your own cancer center!
(1) Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles

(2) University of Virginia Cancer Center’s newsletter for survivors is entitled “Kia Ora”, an expression from the Maori (the indigenous people in New Zealand) with many meanings, one of which is “Be Alive!” in the same sense as I was discussing in my opening greeting.
H. Recently added to my web site:
1. - includes the name of a physician who will consult with an oncologist about using chemotherapy during a pregnancy and compile and keep confidential mother and baby health outcomes.
2. - SHARE (Self-help for Women with Breast or Ovarian Cancer) has been providing peer support for 30years for women with breast cancer and 11 years for women with ovarian cancer.
3. - The Center for Patient Partnerships at The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a non-profit organization founded by people who struggled finding optimal care for their own cancer diagnoses. Now they help others with cancer and other serious or chronic diseases make informed decisions and get the care they need, emphasizing the benefits to all by developing real partnerships with health care providers. There is no charge for their services. You do not need to be receiving your medical care at UW-Madison, and phone consultations are possible.

IV. New Research
A. Very obese fare worse after colon cancer diagnosis
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2006 Nov 15;98(22):1647-54.

Obese colon cancer patients with a body mass index > or = 35 kg/m2 have a 38% increased risk of recurrence of colon cancer compared to their normal-weight counterparts (BMI = 18.5 – 24.9) and also face 28% increased risk of dying from the disease during a 11+ year follow-up. No studies have yet been done to evaluate if losing weight after a colon cancer diagnosis and treatment improves prognosis, but healthy lifestyle changes can bring benefits that improve other medical conditions and overall quality of life, worthy goals in their own rights.

I also included research in one of my 2003 newsletters that reported increased risk of recurrence and death in colon cancer patients who also have diabetes.
^*^*^*^*^*^ Take Home Message ^*^*^*^*^*^
My recommendation for all people with a colon cancer diagnosis would be to proactively seek the evaluation and guidance of a Registered Dietitian (RD), but I would strongly urge you to do so if you have diabetes or are overweight. Don’t wait for the research studies to be started and completed (this could be years!), as you have everything to gain by incorporating nutrition into your comprehensive cancer care now.

B. More evidence for tea’s health-promotion abilities
(1) Journal of the Agricultural and Food Chemistry (published on-line ahead of print) “Structure-Activity Relationships of Tea Compounds against Human Cancer Cells”, M. Friedman, et al.
Friedman and his co-workers showed that various polyphenols from tea extracts, composed of nine green tea catechins, three black tea theaflavins, or theanine, can induce cell death in human breast, liver, colon, and prostate cancer. Green tea contains between 30 and 40 per cent of water-extractable polyphenols, while black tea contains between 3 and 10 per cent. Oolong tea is semi-fermented tea and is somewhere between green and black tea.

The researchers did not undertake mechanistic studies, but previous studies have suggested various tea compounds can induce programmed cell death (apoptosis), stop P450 enzymes that activate pro-carcinogens, stop the transmission of signals by tumor promoters, bind to damaged DNA usually involved in cancer promotion, or inhibit the formation of new blood vessels in the tumor (angiogenesis).

I still drink approximately 4 cups (about 1 quart) of green or black teas on a daily basis. I also carry green tea bags with me when I travel so I have plenty at the airport, in the hotel, and at a conference or speaking engagement.
There are a few clinical trials currently recruiting patients that are testing the effects of green tea (or an extract) on various types of cancer. Further information can be found at the following web site:
(2) In addition, some older research has demonstrated that consuming 5 cups of tea per day (compared to coffee) for 4 weeks boosts the body’s ability to help fight infections nearly 5-fold (that is 500%!). (Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 May 13;100(10):6009-14. Epub 2003 Apr 28, Kamath, AB, et al). The compound isolated and found to be responsible for this benefit is called theanine, found in both black and green tea, This same compound was also tested in the more recent research and also found to have anti-cancer activity.
(3) However, try not to add milk to your tea (as is common in Great Britain and other places). Brand new research has demonstrated that the addition of milk negates the vascular health effects that reduce risk for cardiovascular disease (Eur Heart J 20007 Jan 9 Epub ahead of print, Lorenz M, et al).
(4) The combination of green tea and tamoxifen is effective against breast cancer (Carcinogenesis 2006 27(12):2424-2433, Sartippour, MR, et al)
The combination regimen is more potent than either agent alone at increasing cancer cell apoptosis (programmed cell death). In animal experiments, mice treated with both green tea and tamoxifen had the smallest breast tumor size, and the highest levels of apoptosis in tumor tissue, as compared with either agent administered alone. Also, the suppression of angiogenesis (blood vessel growth in tumors) correlated with larger areas of necrosis (cell death) and lower tumor blood vessel density in the mice that received breast cancer grafts. Green tea decreased levels of the estrogen receptors in tumors both in vitro and in vivo, and this is the first study to show the interaction of green tea with the ER pathway, as well as provide evidence that the combination of green tea and tamoxifen is more potent than either agent alone in suppressing breast cancer growth.
^*^*^*^*^*^ Take Home Message ^*^*^*^*^*^
Drink up and enjoy your tea!

C. Olive oil reduces damage to cells’ genetic material (FASEB J 2006 Nov 16, Epub ahead of print, Machowetz, A, et al)
A study was conducted in 182 European men (from both northern and southern countries) evaluating oxidative damage to cells’ genetic material (DNA), a process that can be the beginning step to cancer. The study demonstrated that consumption of 1/4 cup of olive oil daily for two weeks led to a 13% reduction in a biomarker called 8oxodG, an indicator of oxidative damage to cells’ DNA.
In addition to containing healthy mono-unsaturated fats, olive oil contains numerous phytochemicals that act as antioxidants. It was very interesting that the study was conducted so that the men consumed olive oils with varying amounts of these antioxidant molecules, which did not influence the results, thus the researchers believe the drop in the biomarkers may be related instead to the healthy monounsaturated fatty acids.
That amount of olive oil is approximately 480 calories (!!), which would need to be replacing other calories in the diet, most particularly saturated fats from foods like meats, butter, cream, and high fat cheeses. In addition, the low rates of breast, prostate, colon, and ovarian cancer in countries where people consume this much olive oil as part of their daily diet also are due to a diet and lifestyle that contain many more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean fish, and legumes, plus more daily exercise.
^*^*^*^*^*^ Take Home Message ^*^*^*^*^*^
Yes, consume more olive oil in 2007, but not without regard for how those calories are going to fit into your overall diet and lifestyle!

D. New prostate cancer research studies (these are for the fellas and the women who love you!)
(1) Obesity and Weight Gain Linked to Prostate Cancer Mortality
A new prospective study shows that obese men with adult weight gain (after age 18) are more likely to die from prostate cancer than men of normal weight, even though this study did not show they were more likely to develop the disease. (Cancer, February 15, 2007 issue, Wright, M, et al., ahead of print)
Compared with men with a BMI < 25 kg/m2, those who were overweight (BMI 25-29.9)had a 25% increased risk of death, mildly obese men (BMI 30-34.9) had a 46% higher risk, and severely obese men (BMI > 35) doubled their risk.
(2) Some studies have shown that obesity has been associated with increased risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. However, another new study is the first to show that weight loss of 11# lowers the risk of developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer by 42% compared to men whose weight remained the same. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2007;16(1):OF1 – 7)
^*^*^*^*^*^ Take Home Message ^*^*^*^*^*^
Check your BMI at . Make 2007 your year to focus on improving your health, reducing your risk for developing prostate cancer, and at the same enhancing your overall quality of life!
V. Web site stats (just for fun!)
I gathered this information from my web site’s statistics for the year 2006 and thought it might be fun to share it with all of you, too.
• ~ 400,000 unique visitors (many people visit more than once)
• ~ 800,000 page views
• 156 countries
• Top 10 countries:

United States
United Kingdom
Top 5 recipes
• Tabouli -
• SuperSoy and Phytochemical Shake Recipe
• Fresh tomato soup -
• Black olive tapenade -
• Easy Homemade Pizza -

Top 5 FAQs
• Use of vitamins after bladder cancer -
• Diarrhea after abdominal radiation therapy -
• Flax use with prostate cancer -
• Flax use with estrogen positive breast cancer
• use of antioxidants during chemotherapy and radiation therapy - 

VI. Book Ordering Information
Both editions of A Dietitian's Cancer Story (English version ISBN13 is 978-0-9667238-3-0) and the Spanish version (ISBN13 is 978-9667238-2-3) can be ordered from any bookstore, library,, and directly from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) by calling 1-800-843-8114 or going to AICR's web site.
Discounts for orders of 10 or more copies are available for both editions by calling AICR at 1-800-843-8114 - asking to speak to Candis Navarrete. Many cancer centers, health care professional offices, and places of worship have ordered books in larger quantities to have available to give as educational and support information or to resell.
Bookstores and libraries may order directly from the book wholesalers Ingram.
Personally autographed copies of A Dietitian's Cancer Story are now readily available through Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It's easy to order the book directly from this full service independent bookstore at their web site, , which has a space to indicate how you would like the book inscribed. They will happily mail the book anywhere in the world and have already sent copies with personalized autographs as far away as Australia and England.

Those who choose to remain on this list can be assured that I will never share or sell your name or Email address to anyone.
Diana Grant Dyer, MS, RD - Author
A Dietitian's Cancer Story (English and Spanish translation)
Available from AICR (call 1-800-843-8114)

"Information and inspiration for cancer survivors"
Proceeds donated to the Diana Dyer Cancer Survivors'
Nutrition and Cancer Research Endowment at the
American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Dietitian's Cancer Story Newsletter: Fall 2006

It is hard for me to believe that I am quickly approaching the 10-year anniversary of writing and independently publishing my book, A Dietitian’s Cancer Story. Some of you may even have a copy of that 1st edition, which was stapled together at my local Kinko’s in June 1997. I only printed 300 copies at that time, knowing I would have no trouble giving that number away to friends, relatives, and colleagues. Instead, the first printing sold out in 3 weeks! With that vote of confidence, I next printed 500 copies, which sold in 3 months, and on and on and on. Now I print 5,000 books each year. It seems like the blink of an eye, but nearly 10 years have now gone by.
I very quickly realized that I wanted to do more than provide information and inspiration to individual readers but to also make a difference by funding research that would give cancer survivors better guidance about which nutritional strategies could improve their odds for long-term survival. That desire led me to develop a relationship with The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) in Washington, DC. I had known of AICR’s dedicated commitment to fostering research on diet and cancer prevention for many years, and AICR has enthusiastically embraced the need for and opportunity to support nutrition research that fosters cancer survivorship also.
Proceeds from the sale of my books are donated into the Diana Dyer Cancer Survivors’ Nutrition and Cancer Research Endowment that I have established at AICR specifically to fund nutrition research to optimize cancer survivorship. I have helped to fund six (6) projects since the endowment was established in the year 2000. However, high quality research is very expensive, and currently my endowment can only help to partially fund these projects.
My dream is to have my endowment funded to a level at which one full research grant can be awarded every year that will be exclusively focused on researching nutritional strategies to optimize cancer survivorship. In order to do that, my endowment needs to be funded at a level of $2 million (yes, million). Whew, that is a LOT of books to sell, so I am looking for alternative ideas and help to achieve that goal.
Currently my endowment is funded at a level of approximately $110,000, which has come primarily from my donations. Some additional people have made contributions, also, and I extend my deepest gratitude to them for sharing and supporting my vision with their gifts. However, sometimes I admit to feeling discouraged when I see that my endowment (and what it can do) is still so small after all the effort I have put forth during these past 10 years. I want my endowment to be more than a “political statement”, so I have decided that it is time to both “re-think and reach out” for new ways and help in order to increase the endowment’s funding and ability to support the research that is so necessary (and even urgent) for cancer survivors.
Thus, I am offering all of my readers who share my dream an opportunity to be involved in a meaningful way by investing in the future and hopes of all cancer survivors. There are several ways you may choose to become involved:
(1) Of course you may order more books. In fact, you may choose to purchase a large number to donate to your local cancer center, clinic, or doctor’s office, to give to your own patients, local libraries, support groups, place of worship, etc. Quantity discounts are available when ordering 10 or more copies from AICR. Please call 1-800-843-8114 and ask to speak to Candis Navarrete.
(2) You may wish to hold a fund-raising event in your own community such as a golf-outing, bike-a-thon, silent auction, etc, etc, with proceeds donated to The Diana Dyer Endowment at AICR. Ideas and information about fund-raising for AICR are available on their web site at, then click on “How can I help?”
(3) In addition, I would be honored if you chose to make a direct contribution to the Diana Dyer Endowment at AICR. A donation of any size can now easily be contributed directly to my endowment on AICR’s web site at or mailed to AICR, 1759 R Street - NW, Washington, DC 20009. If mailing a donation, be sure to put Diana Dyer Endowment on the memo line. In addition, check to see if your employer will match any direct donations; AICR always gets the paperwork filed promptly to receive these matching funds.
AICR is eager to help you with all of these options. Please feel free to contact Heather Morgan, Director of Development, at 1-800-843-8114 or by Email for additional information and assistance with local fund-raising events or more in-depth discussions about donations.
I have been very blessed with the opportunity to help others have a cancer survivorship journey that has been less difficult than mine. Indeed, although I could not foresee this path when I was struggling with chemotherapy and recovery in 1995, sharing my journey with all of you has become a way of life for me. Many great voices have expressed an understanding of this blessing in different ways over the ages, so I will end with their words:
A man makes a living by what he gets; he makes a life by what he gives.
– Sir Winston Churchill

My life is my message.
– Gandhi

Your work is to discover your life and with all your heart give yourself to it.
– Buddha

With continued best wishes to all of you for both life and hope,
Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Newsletter Contents:
I. The Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group Updates
II. New Recipes and New Foods to Try
III. Information on Cancer Prevention
IV. Survivorship Info – Holiday Gift Ideas
V. Cancer Treatment Improvement Study - Participants Wanted
VI. Research Updates
VII. Website Updates – Holiday Eating FAQ
VIII. Book ordering information

I. The Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group Updates
The Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group (ON DPG) of The American Dietetic Association achieved many major milestones this year.
A. ON DPG developed and published their Standards of Practice and Standards of Professional Performance for Registered Dietitians working with oncology nutrition care at the generalist, specialty, and advanced practice levels. (Robien K, Levin R, Pritchett E, Otto M; J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Jun;106(6):946-51)
B. ON DPG petitioned the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) to approve a new board specialty certification in oncology nutrition and received full approval in September 2006. The exam should be ready by the end of 2007. The new credential, Certified Specialist, Oncology (CSO©) will help to enhance public protection and will serve as an important documentation of RDs' specialized skills and expertise in oncology nutrition.
C. Two articles have been published that will help oncology practices achieve more reimbursement for oncology nutrition services:
1. Improving Reimbursement for Oncology Nutrition Services, Ganzer, H and C Selle, Oncology Issues, Sept/Oct 2006, pp 34-37.
2. Seeking reimbursement for oncology nutrition, Ganzer, H and C Selle, Oncology Nutrition Connection, Spring 2006 Volume 14(6).
D. Publication of The Clinical Guide to Oncology Nutrition – 2nd edition by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group; L Elliott, L Molseed, P Davis McCallum, B Grant, ©2006, American Dietetic Association.
Representing the most current oncology nutrition research, this new edition is the clinician's guide to understanding the nutritional needs and risks of cancer patients and to anticipating and responding with appropriate nutrition care. This guide explores the fundamentals--from nutrition screening to therapy protocols to pharmacological management--with new chapters devoted to ACS survivor guidelines, reimbursement guidelines, and outcomes research.
Non-ADA member Price: $66.00 + shipping and handling
Member Price: $50.50 + shipping and handling
Available at the ADA web site and

E. Seven members of ON DPG attended the Inaugural Lance Armstrong Foundation’s Cancer Survivorship Summit where the unmet needs of cancer survivors were identified, discussed, and initial plans developed to provide programs and services to fill these unmet needs at the local, state, and national levels.
F. ON DPG’s membership continues to increase and currently has an all time high of 1500 Registered Dietitians who have a special interest in the many aspects of oncology nutrition, including prevention, treatment, survivorship, hospice, research, and advocacy.
Much still needs to be done in order to provide proactive and individualized oncology nutrition care to all patients diagnosed with cancer, but these accomplishments will help accelerate the inclusion of nutrition as part of true comprehensive cancer care. I’m proud of everything that the board and members of ON DPG have accomplished and look forward to many more efforts from this passionate group of dietitians dedicated to providing and improving oncology nutrition care.
II. New Recipes and New Foods to Try
A. I did a lot of traveling in 2006 and was always glad to come home to my own cooking and plant-based diet. I saw the following two quotations during my trips this year. Both brought a smile to my face as I whole-heartedly agree and abide by these words of wisdom spoken by men who were clearly ahead of their time!
To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals – Ben Franklin
I have lived temperately, eating little animal food, and that not as an aliment, so much as a condiment for the vegetables, which constitute my principal diet – Thomas Jefferson
B. I have posted many new recipes on my website during the past few months. Some were even developed by my husband! I hope you’ll try a few of them:
Bean “Burgers”
Bean and herb patties
Pasta w/veggies and caponata
Stuffed cabbage rolls
Gingery cole slaw
Apple butter acorn squash
Crustless pasties
Black bean brownies
Chocolate chip (and bean!) cookies

C. Some new food items to look for and try:
Organic green tea, which is also a fair-trade product, by Equal Exchange – I found this in my regular grocery store. More info at the company’s web
Trail Blaze Bake-at-Home Oatmeal Energy Bars by Matisse & Jack’s – My favorite flavor of an “energy bar” that contained both soy and flaxseed was discontinued, so I have been on the hunt to find another one containing these healthy food ingredients that is not too sweet for my tastes. I am in the process of developing a recipe for a bar to make at home, but in the meantime, I have found this very good mix that is delicious and healthy. More info at the company’s web
III. Information on Cancer Prevention
Although I usually focus this newsletter on information to enhance cancer survivorship, I want to highlight some information that I found informative and important on primary prevention of cancer, too.
A. The Cancer Decisions web site will be starting a cancer prevention focused Email newsletter called Wellbeing in which they plan to “reshape the debate on cancer and serve as a forum for new ideas and new strategies in the individual and social struggle against cancer.” Sign up for this newsletter at
B. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a component of the National Institutes of Health, held its third annual Early Environmental Exposures Meeting in Berkeley, California on Nov 2-3, 2006. The meeting included presentations on the basic biology of breast development, environmental exposures that influence the early onset of puberty (a risk factor for breast cancer), and public health communication of the risks associated with these exposures.
The purpose of the meeting is to promote the latest scientific findings from the Institute's four Breast Cancer and Environment Research Centers (BCERCs) -- University of California, San Francisco, Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Michigan State University in East Lansing, and the University of Cincinnati. Funded jointly by the NIEHS and the National Cancer Institute, the centers are investigating the influence of early-life exposures on mammary gland development and the potential of these exposures to alter the risk of breast cancer in later life. The program and poster abstracts can be found at
The four BCERCs are enrolling 1,200 girls aged 6-8 to examine relationships between breast development, age at first menses, & factors such as hormonal changes, diet, exercise, obesity, family medical history, psychosocial stressors, environmental exposures, & genetic characteristics & biomarkers. In parallel, using rat & mouse models, they are conducting animal studies to characterize the molecular features of the mammary gland over the lifespan & determine how exposure to potential carcinogens during these times influences cancer risk.
Breast cancer advocates have been instrumental in the formation and work of these centers. I commend their persistent efforts to increase the awareness of these concerns along with the urgent need for research funding for these centers. Additional information can be found at . The research conducted by these centers will most certainly apply to other cancers types, too.
C. Information about pesticides and ways to reduce our exposure to them can be found at the web site for the Northwest Coalition for Alternative to pesticides (NCAP) at
D. "Things You Can Do to Decrease Your Toxic Exposures and Protect Your Health” is a very practical booklet written by Laurine Brown, PhD, MPH. If you are not able to find a copy, I suggest that you take the time to read a series of articles that Dr. Brown has also written to increase awareness of the role that environmental toxins may play in our health with thoughtful and practical guidance for individual actions. They are available to read at the following web site:
IV. Survivorship Info – Holiday Gift Ideas
A. The 2007 Colondar -- Young Cancer Survivors Show Scars to Save Lives
I must admit that while I was aware that young women in their twenties and even teens have been diagnosed with breast cancer, I had no idea that both young women and men in these same young age groups have been diagnosed with colon cancer. Sales of the 2007 Colondar benefit The Colon Club, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating young people about colorectal cancer. The Colon Club is best known for creating the Colossal Colon®, a 40-foot long replica of the human colon that has traveled across the country since 2002. I’ll have to look for this!

B. Cancer Awareness Jewelry
A portion of the proceeds from the jewelry purchased at this web site is donated to multiple causes plus products can be purchased to assist with your own fund raising efforts.

C. Steps For Living Foundation
This is the only organization addressing cancer survivorship from both a consumer perspective and culturally through music and the arts. They work to embolden (I love that word!) survivors to express themselves creatively and become vigilant self-advocates who can make informed decisions and take conscientious steps for living the survivorship lifestyle. Founded by Matthew Zachary, a brain tumor survivor and concert pianist. Told he would likely never perform again, Matthew is now a “cancertainer” and donates proceeds from the sale of his CD’s to his foundation.

D. Moving Beyond Breast Cancer (DVD/Video)
This 23-minute educational video (available in DVD or VHS format) was developed to help women who are completing breast cancer treatment and entering the post-treatment phase. This can be a particularly difficult time for cancer survivors, as they lose the focus of treatment and the security of frequent doctor's visits. This is often a time when the support of friends and family can drift off, many of whom think that when you are done with treatment, things are back to normal. Well, any survivor can tell you; this is far from the truth.

This video features the stories of several women post treatment. They are real survivors, discussing issues of body changes, emotions, fears, relationships, & new outlooks on life. No video can take away the emotions and feelings survivors deal with, but this one helps the viewers see that they are not alone, and gives them ideas for handling their "new normal".
The video also features Dr. Susan Love, a breast cancer surgeon, whose thoughtful insight adds another perspective to these topics. Although the women featured on the video are survivors of breast cancer, this video would be useful for any woman completing cancer treatment.
The video is available free of charge from the NCI. To obtain a copy, visit or call 1-800-4-CANCER
V. Cancer Treatment Improvement Study - Participants Wanted
Inflexxion, Inc, a behavioral research company based out of Newton, MA, is developing a telephone-based system that will help cancer patients learn to deal with their pain and symptoms.
To make the system as helpful as possible, they are looking for cancer patients that are willing to review this telephone-based system from their home and then complete some brief questionnaires.
To be eligible, participants must be at least 18 years of age and have a current diagnosis of lung, prostate, breast & or colon cancer. Completion time will vary from between 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on which group you may be randomly assigned to.
For taking the time to help us you will be paid between $40 and $120, depending on which group you are assigned to.
The National Cancer Institute and Inflexxion, Inc sponsor this study. For more information or to sign-up, please contact Luis Ponce at (800) 848-3895 ext. 278 or go to
VI. Research updates
A. Whole sesame seed is as rich a source of mammalian lignan precursors as whole flaxseed (Nutr Cancer 52(2): 156-165, 2005).
The molecules called mammalian lignans (enterolactone and enterodiol), which are produced by the microflora in the colon of humans and animals from precursors in foods such as flaxseeds, may have anticancer effects.
This study is the first to demonstrate in healthy, post-menopausal women that consumption of 25 grams of unground flaxseed produced the same amount of these important molecules as 25 grams of ground flaxseed. In addition, the study showed equal production of these mammalian lignans from both flaxseed and sesame seed.

^*^*^*^*^*^ Take Home Message ^*^*^*^*^*^

1. Don’t fret too much about the use of ground vs. unground flaxseeds.

2. Enjoy sesame seeds too! Use of tahini (sesame seed paste) in Hummus and the dessert recipe Halvah may also boost your intake of these cancer-fighting molecules. (make links to these recipes from my web site)

^*^*^*^*^*^ ^*^*^*^*^*^ ^*^*^*^*^*^ ^*^*^*^*^*^
B. Phytosterol composition of nuts and seeds commonly consumed in the United States (J Agric Food Chem 53(24):9436-45, 2005)
Phytosterols are a component of plant fats found in varying concentrations in all plant foods (particularly nuts and seeds) that inhibit cholesterol absorption in the GI tract, reducing a risk factor for heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels (a good thing for all cancer survivors!). Phytosterols also enhance the immune system and may reduce the risk of several types of cancer. Thus again, research continues to show multiple benefits from eating a plant-based diet.
This study is the most comprehensive to date evaluating the phytosterol content of nuts and seeds in our typical diet. Sesame seeds, wheat germ, and pistachio nuts showed the highest concentration of phytosterols of the 27 foods tested.

^*^*^*^*^*^ Take Home Message ^*^*^*^*^*^

1. Strive for consuming a variety of plant foods on a daily basis that contain phytosterols for their multiple health benefits.
2. Increasing consumption of sesame seeds and sesame seed paste (tahini) will allow you to “double-dip” as you consume both health-promoting phytosterols and lignans (see recipe ideas above).
3. Regularly including wheat germ in various recipes, including all my soy shake recipes, is an easy way to increase consumption of phytosterols.

^*^*^*^*^*^ ^*^*^*^*^*^ ^*^*^*^*^*^ ^*^*^*^*^*^
C. Randomized controlled trial of weight training and lymphedema in breast cancer survivors (J Clin Oncol 24(18):2765-72, 2006)
Breast cancer survivors who completed treatments were randomly assigned to a weight-training group (n=42) or a control group (n=43). After six months of participating in a specified weight-training program, there was no difference in various measurements or self-reports of symptoms related to lymphedema between the two groups.

^*^*^*^*^*^ Take Home Message ^*^*^*^*^*^
1. This is the largest and longest study to date to measure effects of upper body weight-training on the occurrence and/or worsening of lymphedema in the upper arms of breast cancer patients.

2. Although this study seems to indicate that weight-training is safe for breast cancer survivors, obtain your physician’s approval before starting any exercise program.

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VII. Website Updates – Holiday Eating FAQ
I began responding to questions from web site viewers, researching and posting my answers “waaaay back” in 1998, when my web site first was put up on the Internet. After much thought, I have started the process of slowly cutting back, simplifying my life, and shifting how I spend my time and energy. Thus, I will no longer be responding to individual questions on my web site.
However, I will continue to review my web site and post new information that I believe will be helpful to cancer survivors seeking reliable information about nutrition and lifestyle changes that will optimize their odds for long-term success from both cancer and overall health and wellness.
So, please take a look at the newest FAQ I have posted on my web site that providestips for getting through our holidays and still maintaining your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

^*^*^*^*^*^ Special Notes ^*^*^*^*^*^
To inquire about having me speak to your group, please contact Barbara Christenson at The Speak Well Being Group (, (503) 699-5031).
Health care professionals and media may still feel free to contact me through thecontact page of my web site.
Students – Many professors give assignments that ask you to contact a Registered Dietitian with a web site, so I have posted answers to many of your common questions on my web site .
During my recent efforts to simplify and “downsize”, I sorted through piles and files of letters and cards that readers have sent me since I wrote the first edition of my book in 1997. I thought I could throw them away after re-reading them. Wrong! I remembered receiving every single one of them; you have all touched my heart in a very deep place. I still love receiving your thoughtful cards and letters, so if you are moved to do so, please feel free to continue sending them to me at PO Box 130221, Ann Arbor, MI 48113.
VIII. Book Ordering Information
Both editions of A Dietitian's Cancer Story (English version ISBN 096672383X) and the Spanish version (ISBN 0966723821) can be ordered from any bookstore, library,, and directly from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) by calling 1-800-843-8114 or going to AICR's web site <>.
Discounts for orders of 10 or more copies are available for both editions by calling AICR at 1-800-843-8114 - asking to speak to Candis Navarette. Many cancer centers, health care professional offices, and places of worship have ordered books in larger quantities to have available to give as educational and support information or to resell.
Bookstores and libraries may order directly from the book wholesalers Ingram.
Personally autographed copies of A Dietitian's Cancer Story are now readily available through Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It's easy to order the book directly from this full service independent bookstore at their web site, , which has a space to indicate how you would like the book inscribed. They will happily mail the book anywhere in the world and have already sent copies with personalized autographs as far away as Australia and England.

Those who choose to remain on this list can be assured that I will never share or sell your name or Email address to anyone.
Diana Grant Dyer, MS, RD - Author
A Dietitian's Cancer Story (English and Spanish translation)
Available from AICR (call 1-800-843-8114)

"Information and inspiration for cancer survivors"
Proceeds donated to the Diana Dyer Cancer Survivors'
Nutrition and Cancer Research Endowment at the
American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)


Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Dietitian's Cancer Story Newsletter: Spring and Summer 2006

Spring and Summer 2006 Greetings from Diana Dyer, MS, RD, author of A Dietitian's Cancer Story

I completely missed getting a newsletter put together during this past spring season. I want to thank all of you who have told me that you have missed it and also inquired to make sure I was OK. Thank you very much for caring and also for your thoughtful comments about my newsletter. I was traveling more than usual (and more than I have told myself I would!) to speaking engagements around the country. I just loved every place I visited and all the people I met, but I found there were just not enough hours left over until now to pull the information together that I would like to share with you.
I also want to gratefully thank all my readers who responded to the request in my last newsletter for prayers and support for the journalist Jill Carroll after her kidnapping in Iraq on January 7, 2006. Jill grew up in my neighborhood in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and one could hear and feel a collective sigh of relief with her safe release on March 30, 2006. Words are inadequate to express the depth of appreciation of your support. Thank you again.
The summer season is now in full swing. It is always too short here in Michigan! Take the time to heed the following advice of Henry David Thoreau by visiting a local farmers' market or a local farm stand to enjoy the season's delicious and locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables!
Live in each season as it passes;
breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit.
- Henry David Thoreau 
All continued best wishes to all of you for health, healing, and hope,
Diana Dyer, MS, RD 
Newsletter Contents:
I. Upcoming Cancer Survivorship Conferences
II. Cancer Survivorship Survey
III. Article about the Difficulties of being a Cancer Survivor
IV. New Foods to Try
V. Books to Suggest
VI. Some of my favorite web sites and email newsletters
VII. Avoid label reading confusion!
VIII. Book Ordering Information

I. Upcoming Cancer Survivorship Conferences
* The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) will hold it annual nutrition and cancer research conference in Washington, DC on July 13-14, 2006. This year there will be a full afternoon devoted to research focused on nutrition and cancer survivorship. There is still time to register. Information is at ( .
* Cancer Survivorship: Embracing the Future - co-sponsored by The National Cancer Institute, The American Cancer Society, and The Lance Armstrong Foundation. October 4-6, 2006, in Bethesda, MD. Innovative research findings will be shared along with opportunities to network with experts dedicated to the advancing the field of cancer survivorship research. Special Note: Survivors may apply to be part of the Survivor-Researcher Mentor Program, in which survivors may learn about cancer research in depth and also have a chance to provide input of value from a survivor's perspective. Additional information about the conference and the mentorship program application (due by July 14 so don't delay if you are interested!) is available at:
* LiveStrong Summit - sponsored by the Lance Armstrong Foundation, October 27-29, 2006 in Austin, TX. Through this summit, the LAF will lead a cancer survivorship movement that plans to broaden awareness of and meet the unmet physical, emotional, and practical needs of cancer survivors. More information and application to attend is at:
* CURE Patient & Survivor Forums - September 16-17, 2006 in Washington, DC and November 4-5, 2006 in San Diego. Sponsored by CURE Magazine (Cancer Updates, Research, & Education). More information at . 
II. Cancer Survivorship Survey
There is a very interesting on-line survey on the Lance Armstrong web site related to the multiple issues of concern to cancer survivors who have completed treatment. The data being collected are being used for a doctoral thesis and to help the Lance Armstrong Foundation further clarify its mission and develop materials and information for use by cancer survivors.
Although the survey does not include many questions about the benefits of nutrition during and after therapy, it does provide an opportunity to write in what else you think would have been helpful after your cancer diagnosis. I took advantage of that space to highlight the benefits of having RDs on staff at cancer centers providing proactive and individualized nutritional care both during and after therapy as a component of true comprehensive cancer care. I urge my readers who are also cancer survivors to do the same. Here is the link to the survey:
Note: it is a lengthy survey and easily takes the estimated 45 minutes to thoughtfully fill it out. Don't try to do it when you are in a hurry! 
III. Great Article to Read from Physician-Cancer Survivor-Author
Wendy Harpham, MD writes a regular column for Oncology Times. Here is a link to an excellent article she wrote explaining her perspective about the difficulties of being a cancer survivor, never knowing if that little twinge represents something to worry about, when to call the doctor, etc, etc. Her words brought tears to my eyes! Hopefully she has helped the oncology community at large understand and respect just how much effort on the part of the patient goes into showing up for an appointment, treatment, etc. (PDF file)
I gave a copy to my own primary care physician, who was grateful to read it. He subsequently made copies for all of his medical students and residents to read. 
IV. New Foods to Try
* Earl Green Tea by Zingerman's. If you like the taste of Earl Grey tea but prefer to drink green tea, the Earl Green Tea is the perfect combination. I think this tea is GREAT and worth every penny! I drink it nearly every day. It is especially tasty as iced tea. Available by mail order from
* 100% Organic Whole Grain & Flax Pasta by Lifestream/Nature's Path Foods, Inc. I found these in my regular grocery store. My husband (who has a much more discerning sense of taste than I do) immediately said, "What are these? They taste great, not like the usual whole wheat pasta!" He felt that the addition of flax meal eliminated a bitterness that he usually tastes with 100% whole-wheat pasta. A great combination of whole grain and omega-3 fatty acids, too!
* Dry Roasted Edamame by Seapoint Farms - Edamame are green (immature) soybeans that are a common snack food in Japan. Instead of being boiled, these are dry roasted and very lightly salted. They are delicious and easy to pack in my suitcase or briefcase when traveling. I found them in the snack aisle of my regular grocery store.
* Pomegranate Molasses - I have started seeing recipes with this ingredient, which I did need to purchase at a grocery store specializing in foods from the Middle East. I have used it to marinate and bake salmon (1/4 cup pom-molasses, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic - yum, yum!) and also to marinate and bake tofu (Mix 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp. Pom-molasses, 1 tsp. Sesame oil, 1-3 tsp. minced fresh garlic, 1 tsp. Chinese 5-spice. Slice 1# firm tofu block into 4-6 rectangles, your choice of size and shape, and place into baking dish. Pour marinade over tofu to marinate 15-60 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until marinade is nearly dry.)
* Sumac - a mildly astringent and beautiful spice made from the ground red berries of the sumac shrub, often used in Middle Eastern foods. Sumac is a common ingredient in the Lebanese salad called fattoush, which means "moistened bread" (a great way to use up dried out pita bread). A typical recipe for fattoush can be found at,fatoush_salad.phtml . Don't save the sumac only for use in this salad though. Use it to flavor grilled veggies, chicken, salmon, or even tofu. In addition, use it to spice up frittatas and omelets. Research has demonstrated that this spice has hypoglycemic, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant activities. Worth seeking out at a market that specializes in Middle Eastern foods. 
V. Books to Suggest
* A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, by Jack Bishop, Houghton Mifflin, 2004. This is not a new book but new to me. It is absolutely fabulous. I want to try every single recipe. It is a great example of how a chef cooks ultra-healthy foods for his own family, including his children. I like the author's philosophy of "shop local (patronize your own growers as much as possible), cook globally (use olive oil and a wide variety of herbs and spices regularly), and keep it real (most recipes can be done in a hurry)." Here is an example of a simple and delicious recipe I made for some neighbors who came over for dinner: Red Lentil and Basmati Rice Croquettes with Romaine-Mango Salad and Cucumber Raita. I served this salad entreé with easy to make turnip chips (recipe also in the book) and a simple salad made from watercress and oranges.
* The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment, by Jill Nussinaw, MS, RD, Vegetarian Connection Press, 2005. What to do with all those vegetables you see at the Farmers' Market? Here is the book to show you how to serve them up in flavorful ways that you and your family will love. It won't be difficult to increase your veggies to 5 or more servings per day with recipes from this book.
* Attitude! For Your Best Lived Life, By Karen Okulicz, K-Slaw, Inc, Belmar, NJ, 2006 - I have copies of all three books by this author including Try! The Survival Guide to Unemployment and Decide! How to make any Decision. All of them are gems, easy to read books to guide you through the changes needed during difficult times in your life. Just because they are easy to read does not they are quick to read. With any book read with intention, they should be read thoughtfully while reflecting on one's own situation and then making a conscious choice to put at least one tidbit of wisdom into practice within one's own life. I keep a quote about attitude up on my refrigerator to review each and every day: "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing," by Abraham Lincoln. More information can be obtained at .
* Breast Cancer Answers: Practical Tips and Personal Advice from a Survivor, Judy King, New Page Books, Franklin Place, NJ, 2004 (statistics currently being updated for a new edition). This book includes a wealth of clear and concise information for anyone faced with a breast cancer diagnosis. For instance, I found more information on post-mastectomy pain in this book than I received from either my surgeon or oncologist! A significant strength of this book is the very good description of how to evaluate the research behind news headlines for choosing nutrition and complementary therapies, conventional cancer treatments, and even clinical trials. Summarizing the vast amount of nutrition information of relevance during either cancer treatments or recovery is a Herculean task, and I commend the author for consulting a Registered Dietitian with expertise in oncology nutrition. Other health care professionals working with oncology patients have also had input into this helpful book. 
VI. Some of my favorite web sites, email newsletters and updates - all are free of charge unless indicated otherwise (Please note that this list is not all-inclusive - I have highlighted many other web sites in past newsletters.)
* The American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network - a good web site and email newsletter to keep up to date with legislation of concern to everyone interested in cancer prevention, treatment, and recovery.
* Cancer Advocacy Now - the web site of the National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship that provides an email newsletter with regular updates on legislation that impacts cancer survivors, including action points for contacting your legislators in Washington, DC.
* CancerCare provides teleseminars and array of high quality services for anyone diagnosed with cancer -
* Cancer Decisions - by Ralph Moss, PhD. A weekly email newsletter from a long-time observer of conventional and alterative cancer therapies. All newsletters are archived on his web site and topics can easily be found with a search function.
* CURE Magazine (Cancer Updates, Research, and Education) - a well-written and visually beautiful magazine with a wide range of in-depth articles of interest to cancer survivors -
* Environmental Nutrition Newsletter - the only newsletter I still receive that I pay for (available in print or by email). It worth every penny for the research they do sorting through the recent nutrition findings (including dietary supplement research) and then translating those findings into recommendations for our everyday nutrition choices.
* Food Reflections - Monthly email newsletter providing a "how to" message on food, nutrition, or food safety for health professionals, educators, and consumers. Subscribe at
* Lance Armstrong Foundation - - they have a very informative email newsletter that includes information about new legislation of concern to cancer survivors with "action alerts".
* Organic Consumers Association - a great email newsletter to keep up to date with concerns within the organic foods industry, includes action alerts for writing your legislators in Washington. 
VII - Real Life Label Reading Confusion!!
Yep - it happens to all of us! Read the nutrition information carefully and think about the information on the label compared to what you are really eating. Here is a real life example of confusion, even misrepresentation, showing how easy it is to be fooled by the nutritional labeling on foods.
I purchased an 8-ounce box of whole-wheat lasagna noodles. The package contained 11-12 noodles, just the right amount for a whole pan of lasagna using a typical 9x13 inch-baking dish. Each serving is listed on the label as 2 ounces, with each serving containing 9 grams protein and 6 grams of fiber. Sounds great - right? Well, that means there are four 2-ounce servings contained in the 8-ounce box, so when using the whole box of noodles to make the 9x13 inch dish of lasagna, one serving for these noodles would be 1/4 of the entire baking pan. Yikes! When was the last time you ate 1/4 of a pan that size of lasagna for lunch or dinner? So a more realistic breakdown for that labeling would have been to say there were 8 servings per package, with each serving then containing 4.5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Still good but not nearly so impressive as the unrealistic labeling suggested.
The reverse of this confusion is often true, too. Look at the labeling for snack foods or desserts, when the nutritional content is often listed for only one ounce, however we almost always eat many times that amount! Remember the old ads, "Bet you can't eat just one!" Hmmmm.....Become a smarter label reader and become a healthier you! 
VIII - Book Ordering Information
Both editions of A Dietitian's Cancer Story (English version ISBN 096672383X) and the Spanish version (ISBN 0966723821) can be ordered from any bookstore, library,, and directly from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) by calling 1-800-843-8114 or going to AICR's web site <>.
Discounts for orders of 10 or more copies are available for both editions by calling AICR at 1-800-843-8114 - asking to speak to Candis Navarette. Many cancer centers, health care professional offices, and places of worship have ordered books in larger quantities to have available to give as educational and support information or to resell.
Bookstores and libraries may order directly from the book wholesalers Ingram.
Personally autographed copies of A Dietitian's Cancer Story are now readily available through Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It's easy to order the book directly from this full service independent bookstore at their web site, , which has a space to indicate how you would like the book inscribed. They will happily mail the book anywhere in the world and have already sent copies with personalized autographs as far away as Australia and England. 

Those who choose to remain on this list can be assured that I will never share or sell your name or Email address to anyone.

Diana Grant Dyer, MS, RD - Author
A Dietitian's Cancer Story (English and Spanish translation)
Available from AICR (call 1-800-843-8114)

"Information and inspiration for cancer survivors"
Proceeds donated to the Diana Dyer Cancer Survivors'
Nutrition and Cancer Research Endowment at the
American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)